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SBIR Phase I: Ultra Low-Cost Manufacturing Thermoelectric Module

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1416585
Agency Tracking Number: 1416585
Amount: $149,968.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MN
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2015-05-31
Small Business Information
7606 Miramar Road Suite 7400
San Diego, CA 92126-4210
United States
DUNS: 192116440
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Frederick Leavitt
 (858) 695-6660
Business Contact
 Frederick Leavitt
Title: MEng
Phone: (858) 695-6660
Research Institution

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project will be in the availability of low cost thermoelectric modules that can be sold at a price that will allow them to be used in a wide variety of waste heat applications. Two thirds of all of the energy produced in the world is lost as waste heat and a low cost thermoelectric module will make it economically viable to recover a portion of this energy as electricity. Recovering waste heat in America will reduce pollution, greenhouse gasses and our dependence on foreign oil. Recovering waste heat in developing nations will make affordable electricity available to many families for the first time ever. A few watts of electricity will provide lighting and the ability to charge cell phones. Examples of some products that can use low cost thermo electrics to generator electricity or to be self- powered are furnaces, water heaters, wood burning stoves and fireplaces, space eaters, engine heaters and other industrial heaters. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes to reduce the cost of the thermoelectric module by reducing the amount of the expensive bismuth telluride used in the module. The amount of bismuth telluride used is reduced by using smaller elements but using smaller elements makes the effects of thermal expansion differences, high heat flux and high current fluxes more pronounced. This proposal describes how these effects can be better understood and proposes several methods that can minimize them. Proposed methods include replacing some rigid components with flexible ones and to build in features that will accommodate thermal expansion differences.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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